How Property is Divided

You can divide property as soon as you like after you separate, as long as both parties agree to do so.

The law sets out a number of factors that the Court must take into account when dividing property. Broadly speaking, these factors can be divided into two categories – contributions and future needs.

The Court generally weighs up contributions and future needs, and adjusts the division accordingly to ensure that the split of property is “just and equitable”, or fair.

Contributions of Both Parties

When the Court is looking at the distribution of property from a separation, they will look at the financial and non-financial contributions of each party to the relationship.

Financial contributions like employment and wages and the paying of household bills, any inheritances received, any gifts of a financial nature and any other source of financial contributions.

Non-financial contributions includes performing household duties, parenting duties and assisting with home renovations. The contributions may be direct or indirect and are of a benefit to the parties’ lifestyle.

There can also be contributions to the welfare of the family, such as staying at home to look after children or the household.

Future Needs of Both Parties

The Court will look at the future needs of both parties when deciding the fair distribution of property.  This can include such factors as the age and health of the parties, their educational qualifications, their future work prospects and their need to care for any dependent children.